Peggy Whitson Breaks NASA Record for Most Days in Space
History was made this morning at the International Space Station. On April 24, Peggy Whitson marked 534 days, two hours, and 49 cumulative minutes in space, earning her the record for longest time spent off the planet for a U.S. astronaut, Fortune reports.
Since launching her career with NASA in the 1980s, Whitson has racked up a list of accomplishments. The biochemist worked as NASA’s first science officer during her first trip to the International Space Station in 2002. She returned in 2008 as a commander, and on her most recent visit, she became the first woman to command the station twice. She also holds records for most spacewalks conducted by a woman (eight) and oldest woman in space at age 57.
Whitson began her third and current mission at the ISS on November 17, 2016. Prior to today, NASA’s record for most cumulative days spent in space was held by Jeff Williams, who took the title from Scott Kelly in August of last year.
Whitson tweeted from the ISS last night:
— Peggy Whitson (@AstroPeggy) April 23, 2017
Of the more than 12,800 hours Whitson has lived in space, 53 of them have been spent outside the station on spacewalks. Her total time will surpass 650 days when she concludes her mission in September.